Feeling anxious or uncertain about receiving a new vaccine is understandable. But, while the COVID-19 vaccines were created and approved more quickly than others, safety and testing precautions were not sacrificed to achieve the final results.

Many people have already made the decision to get vaccinated. If you’re unsure whether the vaccine is right for you, consider the benefits it could provide for you and your loved ones.

The Vaccine Reduces Your Risk of Infection
After your first shot, your body begins producing antibodies to COVID-19. These antibodies help your immune system fight the virus, reducing your chance of getting the disease. There are three vaccines authorized for use in the United States, with two being 94% and 95% effective. Learn more about the efficacy of vaccines.

Yes, you could still become infected after receiving vaccination, but once more of the population is vaccinated, those chances are further reduced due to herd, or community, immunity. Getting vaccinated not only reduces your chance of becoming sick, but it also supports community protection, reducing the likelihood of transmission.

The Vaccine Protects Against Severe Illness
The clinical trials for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines showed they were 100% effective at preventing severe illness, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine showed 85% effectiveness against severe illness. So, even if you are vaccinated and become infected, you are unlikely to become extremely ill.

The risk of hospitalization and death due to COVID-19 is nearly eliminated once you are fully vaccinated.

The Vaccine Can Immunize Your Unborn Baby or Newborn
According to recent studies, pregnant women who receive the COVID-19 vaccine create antibodies and then pass those to their unborn baby through the placenta. Mothers were also shown to pass antibodies to their newborns through breast milk. This suggests that newborns could develop some immunity to the virus, which is especially important as children under 12 are not yet eligible for vaccination.

Additionally, there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. There is also currently no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines.

Learn more about vaccine considerations for pregnant and nursing women.

The Vaccine Will Help Us Ditch the Masks
In our effort to get back to a more normal way of life, vaccination is the final step we can take. New evidence suggests that vaccinated people who might be infected with COVID-19 have fewer virus particles in their nose and mouth and are, therefore, less likely to spread it to others. This means that getting vaccinated now not only protects you, but also limits the spread of the virus. While public health measures like masks, social distancing, and hand washing are still important for unvaccinated groups, vaccinated people can leave those masks behind.

The Vaccine Will Let You Have In-Person Gatherings with Confidence
Fully vaccinated people can resume pre-pandemic activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. This is a great step in getting back to those all-important, in-person connections that we’ve been missing.

By choosing to be vaccinated, you can protect not only yourself and your family, but your community as well.